Location as a guiding light for business decision-making is not a brand new idea. Places of interest, venues, neighbourhoods and related demographic data have always been a crucial element for businesses. Businesses, brands, organizations, and agencies have always relied on location in some form understand their target audience and to customize operations and marketing to cater to them. But over the years, as digital enterprises became the norm, location demographics paved the way for GPS which has consequently opened doors for location data. Simultaneously, the proliferation of smartphones, location-enabled hyperlocal and hyper-personalized services such as cab hailing and food delivery, and maps has inspired the intersection of technology and business to take a fresh look at the possibilities of location data to enhance customer experience. Naturally, traditional sectors such as public services, telecom operators, oil & gas among many others are quickly refreshing their own perspective on the possibilities of location insights and data. The position of strength that location data finds itself in, is both the cause and the effect of what Forrester’s Principal Analyst of Customer Insights calls ‘The Age Of The Consumer”
What’s location got to do with the age of the consumer?
Everything. A new ecosystem of unprecedented choice and rapid digitization has together made the customer the most powerful stakeholder for businesses. Despite all the data sources and technologies now at the disposal of brand marketers, only 15% of CXOs claim that they know and understand their consumers well enough to build long term relationships. That is a significant insight gap.
A keener understanding of consumers would come from deep insights into their real world personas at scale – and this is exactly what location data delivers. Marketers have already begun to break the silos in consumer insight coming from disparate sources – CRM, digital touch points, primary research etc – and consolidate and complement it with real world insights gleaned through location data. This 360-degree approach to consumer insight has seen some great business outcomes, specifically among our brand partners across QSR, fashion, automotive, consumer technology and other sectors.
From choosing audiences backed by location-based consumer insights to measuring campaign performance on the basis of real world outcomes, marketing has been one of the first functions to truly adapt to the age of the consumer. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Entire businesses are ready to be revamped with location data – and entire enterprises are beginning to see the merit of this location revolution.
A new data currency that will have a lasting impact on customer experience
As more devices and consumers come under the ambit of location technologies through hyperlocal services, new opportunities open up for brands and businesses each day. With mobile alone, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created everyday. Millions of connected consumers are engaging with a connected world on the go. They are travelling, shopping, making decisions, living and working – all while constantly connected to devices. Enterprises of all sizes – across private and public sectors as well as public services – have an unprecedented opportunity to consider all of this unstructured location data into intelligent, insight-led, end-user focused decision making.
For example, retail site selection can get more wholesome with location data in combination with demographics and socioeconomic data. Governments can use location data to plan public transport, safety and security, and urban planning. Merchandising, logistics, infrastructure, procurement – location data currency is going to impact end-to-end business strategy and execution and eventually, it will transform customer experience as we know it.
In a world where customer expectation is at an all-time high, location data can play a key role in enhancing customer experience. One of the biggest possibilities businesses have with location data is the capability to hyper-personalize nearly all functions of business – merchandising, logistics, infrastructure, procurement, and much more – to deliver truly customer-centric experiences. Gartner states that over 80% of brands now compete mainly on customer experience. Naturally, enterprises that adapt to this age of the consumer – and wield the power of location data to achieve new milestones in customer-centricity – will be the ones that thrive.
That location data currency is important for enterprises of all sizes is a given. Connecting the dots and finding the stories that location data is capable of telling them is the larger question now.